According to a report released last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of people living in food insecure households increased by 10 million in 2022 to 44 million people. This marks the largest one-year increase in food insecurity since 2008.
With this alarming news, it’s clearer than ever that food insecurity should be treated as an urgent crisis, despite lower unemployment and a reportedly improved economy. The end of pandemic-related federal safety nets and the high cost of food have stretched our neighbors’ budgets to the breaking point. Across the Garden State, we’ve seen growing lines at pantries and heard heartbreaking stories from struggling parents, seniors, students, and more. To make matters worse, food donations and fundraising have decreased since the pandemic, making it harder for CFBNJ and our fellow food banks to meet the growing need.
To address this critical issue, we must not only provide immediate hunger relief, but also continue to engage with partners across sectors, geographies, and politics. CFBNJ joins Feeding America in calling for a strong Farm Bill that invests in nutrition programs, as well as a solution from Congress to ensure that there is no government shutdown.
When we work together and make sound policies a priority, hunger is a solvable problem. Now is the time to reaffirm our convictions and take action.